Hoodwink by Dominic Torr

Dominic Torr’s fourth spy thriller is sure to appeal to spy story aficionados and those curious or concerned about Freemasonry. Set in the early nineties just after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the KGB (later called the SVR) has managed, using “iIlegal residents,” to collect some 90 cases of shocking abuse of The Craft. It plans to release this information en masse to destabilise the British establishment. At the last moment, the Russian President vetoes this “Special Political Action” operation, code name “Hoodwink. ” The new Russia no longer wants to undermine the West, whose support it’s seeking. But General Asseyev, the KGB boss, finds “Hoodwink” unexpectedly hard to abort.

The ‘hero,’ Guy Monceau, is a likeable family-minded French Canadian partner in Calf and Fine, one of England’s top legal firms. When another partner, Jeremy Street becomes sick, he is asked to check Jeremy’s in tray to see if there’s anything urgent that needs attention. He finds that, through some oversight, the tray contains a number of cases of gross malpractice. Guy alerts the senior partner. However, it’s not Jeremy but Guy who is sacked. Ronnie Massingham, his only friend in Calf and Fine, explains that the firm is Masonic—he is a token “stranger”—and Jeremy’s job is to mangle awkward cases that other Masons send him. Guy secretly copies Jeremy’s work and takes it with him, then decides to sue Calf and Fine for unjust dismissal.

Kate Holland (Katya Bezsmertnik an “illegal”) hears about Guy’s predicament from lawyer and banker Sir Edmund Rossington Bart, the Royal Arch Mason who has become her lover. She manages to persuade Guy to entrust the photostats of Jeremy’s work to her. Gen. Asseyez must, at all costs, stop these and Kate’s other documents from being published by unauthorised “ignition” of “Hoodwink”. And Jeremy Street, with the help of his Mafia connections (Giulio Scatta and his gun toting “heavy” Rodge Jockman) must, equally at all costs, recover the photostats. As these twin preoccupations tangle unpredictably we meet on the way “tapeworm”—John Almond—nervy KGB/SVR spy in Grand Lodge’s offices, and Colonels Medvedyev and Leonov, Gen. Asseyev’s case masters in East Germany who are toying with defection. We also meet canny Cynthia Pyle head of MI5, her perceptive mother US Ambassador Wingfield Davies, CIA officer Gerry Hartfield, and the eminent Mason the Duke of Mortmain, whose role in all this remains an enigma until the unexpected end.

*****

Dominic Torr is a former British diplomat who was involved in the Cold War—hence the authenticity of his spy novels. He conducted his research into Freemasonry as a social institution when, by chance, he came up against the nasty case of abuse described in Hoodwink’s first chapter.

For more information on Dominic, please visit his website.

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